The Excelsior Springs Community Center was designed to serve the 12,000 residents of the Kansas City suburb and neighboring communities. A public forum of citizens confirmed the priorities of the new center during focus groups and playing an interactive card game. The center was designed to be a facility that would bring families together, provide youth with a variety of choices to encourage them to stay in town, give seniors a place to go, and build unity and pride in the community.
Connection to nature
Founded near natural mineral springs, the city has a rich history and connection to nature and health. This connection was emphasized in the design through the use of natural colors and materials throughout the building. Blues and greens mix with natural wood, polished concrete and exposed metal structure; and all are washed in natural daylight through the purposeful placement of glass openings.
From the beginning, the steep slope of the site was the largest obstacle facing the project. Instead of allocating a significant portion of the budget to leveling the site, the design team turned the topography to its advantage. Program areas were organized to step down the hillside to minimize excavation and construction costs while creating a natural path through the building to maximize visibility and access.